Bruce Mol, producer of the Bokashi Movie, shows how the compost making system can be used for home waste to make compost for gardens.

Bruce Mol, producer of the Bokashi Movie, shows how the compost making system can be used for home waste to make compost for gardens.

Filmmaker spreads word about Bokashi

The star of the show is simple bacteria and the enthusiasm is catching on.

The star of the show is simple bacteria and the enthusiasm is catching on.

Bruce Mol heard about the Bokashi composting process, which produces compost from household and other organic waste with the use of a bacterial innoculant, and knew he had to spread the word.

Then he heard that the Interior Provincial Exhibition was going to use Bokashi composting to deal with food waste and saw an opportunity to follow through with making a video.

“Dave Weatherill of Briteland  has always been enthusiastic about getting people info about different ways of gardening. He brought the idea here,” said Mol, who was working for Weatherill at the time.

Mol, who is best known in Vernon for his 2008 film, The Archie Hickling Story about the hero of the Okanagan Hotel Fire, started making family movies with his father’s old Super 8 camera.

He went on to study and teach visual and graphic arts and it was not until he was taking a course at Vancouver community College that he got interested in video. He taught video courses at the college and did a variety of projects, including for museums and training videos for Interior Health and orientation videos for Pacific Regeneration Technologies.

“The language of video I found very interesting. Converting what I know and see to something other people can see and know is a challenge I really enjoyed taking up,” he said.

Mol worked with SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society) and the IPE from the beginning, showing the greening of the fair when 50 gallon drums were put out to sort the fair garbage.

“The people at the fair were supportive but they did have a little trouble figuring out the sorting and there were SENS volunteers there to help them sort what was recyclable,” he said.

The Bokashi method, developed by Dr. Larry Green in the U.S., uses vegetable and fruit waste, meal scraps, oil and bones, and uses a bacterial culture to break them down.

The material decomposes quickly (within seven to 10 days in home-sized containers) and is ordourless. It can be used on the garden immediately and planting can take place as soon as the compost is worked into the soil.

The bacterial culture for about six-months of home use costs about $20. The Regional District of the North Okanagan bought the innoculant needed for the fair project.

Mol uses the method for his home and is looking forward to using the compost on his garden this spring.

He started shooting the film the first day of the fair and was there every day for five days as the barrels filled with food waste, recyclable food containers and flatware.

He followed up with Karen Truesdale, project manager, through the sorting and shredding of the material, done by SENS volunteers with help from Venture Training, through the testing required by the Ministry of Environment, to spreading the finished product on the field of Doug Weir’s organic farm near Armstrong.

“There’s a lot of corn eaten at the IPE,” Mol said, laughing. “What was really interesting  and encouraging was that Larry Green was so caught up in seeing this pilot project that we were doing that he came up at his own cost to see it and I think he was pleased with it.

“We found that it was a lot more labour intensive than we had thought but we ended up using a leaf shredder while there would be better equipment if this was done on a community-wide scale.

“In the end we made about 1,500 pounds of waste material into good compost. If the fair could do this, it could also be done for community and family gardens. The farmer who took the Bokashi compost had grown the corn used at the fair so it was a closed loop. I would like to see other fairs and sporting events use this method.”

Mol has been working on editing the 66-minute show for several months and is waiting for the music to be written. The film will be shown to SENS first and then there will be a public showing. Mol hopes the film will be shown at conferences, gardening courses and for education.

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Vernon Morning Star